The Centre on Thursday informed the Rajya Sabha that nine of the 11 coronavirus-infected members of the Great Andamanese tribe in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands have recovered, PTI reported. The Greater Andamanese are believed to have a population of just over 50, and mostly live on one of the 37 islands in the archipelago.
“The 11 infected members of the Great Andamanese tribe are among those who were either themselves engaged or had families working in government establishments,” Union Tribal Affairs Minister Arjun Munda said at the fourth day of Parliament’s Monsoon Session. “Except two, all of them have fully recovered and moved back to their settlement in Strait Island.”
The minister added that the particularly vulnerable tribal groups, or PVTGs, of Onges, Jarawas and Shompens in the islands are also safe from the coronavirus. Munda said the archipelago administration was giving special focus and attention to the protection and wellbeing of these groups.
“The samples of the entire Onges population in Little Andaman Island have tested negative,” he said. “Testing of Jarawas in three different areas has also confirmed their Covid free status. The Shompens are also safe in the Great Nicobar Island. The health of these tribals has been vigorously monitored and proactive measures to prioritise their testing have helped in early detection of cases.”
Munda then listed out the steps taken by the government to strengthen the capacities for treatment in the region. This includes, doorstep delivery of medication and pulse oximeters free of cost, and admission of any symptomatic person and those with comorbidities to Covid care facilities.
Andaman and Nicobar Islands recorded 3,593 coronavirus cases, including 52 deaths, as of Thursday, according the health department. Out of the 19 new cases reported in 24 hours, seven have travel history, while 12 infections were detected during contact tracing.
The administration has so far sent 47,794 samples for Covid-19 tests, of which 47,546 reports have been received and 248 are awaited.
India’s coronavirus count, meanwhile, crossed the 51-lakh mark on Thursday and rose to 51,18,254, with another global record of 97,894 new cases. The toll jumped by 1,132 to 83,198. As many as 40,25,080 people have recovered from the infection so far, while the active case count crossed the 10-lakh mark.